What is the importance of a consumer purchase funnel in the online domain?

A consumer is bombarded with a number of advertisements in a single day and with thousands of brands claiming that they are the best, it often becomes a little difficult for the customers to make a wise buying decision.

But thanks to the online medium that provides the consumers an opportunity to do price comparisons, know about the latest schemes and promotional offers, different product line and much more. (For a detailed insight into this topic- please refer Influence of customer advocacy in online marketing)

If the modern consumers hold the ultimate power to dominate the market forces, do you think that the role of marketers has diminished totally?

An obvious answer to this is- NO.

Over the years marketers have been devising innovative techniques to convert an enquiry into an order placement. And in doing so, a proper procedure is adopted to ensure that when a consumer gets in touch with your brand, he/she knows about the brand inside-out i.e. the ideology of the company, products/services, vision, objectives etc.

In marketing terms, we define this procedure as the consumer purchase funnel which essentially includes 5 main stages:-

Consumer Purchase Funnel

Awareness:

A sure shot way to boost your sales is to promote yourself as much as you can on all the available mediums. Your product/service may get over shadowed somewhere in the middle of a plethora of brands in the market.
Hence, it is evident that you take a step further and help your consumers to take an informed purchase decision.
  • Help them to understand you better as a brand.
  • Just go beyond than what they can read or see on your website.
  • Think different- organise workshops, webinars, post on your blog, address the customers’ queries online, offer free online samples… to make them understand who you are.

Opinion:

When the consumers are informed about a particular, it is apparent that they would form a certain opinion about your company. Now, our role as the marketers is to ensure that every prospect gets attracted towards your brand and gets an idea to associate with you.

  • In case you are a start-up, or have entered a new market, or have launched a new product/service; start building healthy relations with your audience. Let your audience think good about your brand.
  • In case there is a situation where fingers have been pointed out against your reputation, mould the opinions of the customers in your favour- send online mailers, use testimonials and references, highlight the work done as a part of your corporate social responsibility etc.

Consideration:

Give them a reason to consider you as a merchandiser or as a service provider and select you as one of the best on their list. Address the following questions yourself and then present the same to your audience:-

  • Why would a customer purchase my product/service?
  • Why my products/service is different from that of my competitors?
  • How much experience do I have of working in the same domain?
  • What kind of reputation do I have in the market?
  • Are my current customers happy with my services?
  • How many recurring customers do I have on an average?

Preference:

Till this stage your customers have a thorough idea of your business, so now give them a reason to partner with your brand.

  • Explain them the benefits of your products/services.
  • How your product/service could improve their business or perhaps make their life better?
  • What would they be missing in case they don’t do business with you, or do not purchase your product/service?

Purchase:

This is the most awaited stage for every marketer. The success of your consumer purchase cycle is defined when there is a lead conversion and when the end customer finally makes an informed purchase.

Importance of the online domain in the consumer purchase behavior

The above mentioned was the basic explanation of the various stages in the consumer purchase funnel that affects the purchase decision of the customers. But the catch is that with the confluence of different mediums of communication, internet has revived the marketing strategies of several businesses.

Search engines give a lot of preference to the User Generated Content. Reviews and recommendations websites, social networking websites, consumer advocates and social influencers etc. have an important role to play in spreading the positive word around.

Need assistance? Contact our web consultants who would help you better understand the purchase behavior of your customers and thus, assist you to improve your consumer purchase cycle.

-By Neha Gulati


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